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  • NJ A1750
  • Provides a plan to rebalance State resources to provide community services and supports for persons with developmental disabilities.
In Committee
Crossed OverPassedSignedDead/Failed/Vetoed
2016-2017 Regular Session
This bill changes the way in which the Division of Developmental Disabilities (DDD) in the Department of Human Services (DHS) will use resources to provide services to persons with developmental disabilities by reducing DDD's reliance on developmental centers and strengthening and expanding community-based services and supports. Instead of investing a disproportionate share of DDD's budget to support an inappropriate level of care through the State's seven developmental centers, the bill provides for the development and expansion of access to community services and supports to meet the unmet needs of persons on the community services waiting list, those persons in developmental centers whose interdisciplinary teams have made recommendations for community placement and who choose such placement, youth with developmental disabilities to transition to the adult system in a seamless and timely manner, and persons with developmental disabilities who are residing with their families. The bill shifts financial and human resources from the State developmental centers and, instead, uses these resources to strengthen and expand community-based services, supports, and residential options to address unmet need by consolidating and closing developmental centers and retaining one each in the northern and southern regions of the State within five years of the bill's effective date. To make these changes, the bill establishes: the "Community Services and Support for Persons with Developmental Disabilities Bridge Fund"; the Community Services Planning Council for Persons with Developmental Disabilities in DHS which would create an implementation plan; and a steering committee to oversee the implementation of the plan. The fund would be established in the Department of the Treasury as a nonlapsing, revolving fund which would be the repository for moneys generated from: 1) Capital Construction funds appropriated for Life Safety and Emergency Projects - Statewide, which are intended to fund capital projects at the State developmental centers, excluding capital project costs that: (a) will result in a reduction in overall operational expenditures at developmental centers; (b) are required for life safety or environmental enhancements at developmental centers; (c) are required as a condition of licensure, accreditation, or receipt of federal Medicaid reimbursement; or (d) are required as part of an agreement between the State and the federal Department of Justice; 2) savings by DDD in "salaries and wages expenditures" due to reductions in overtime expenditures; 3) fiscal year 2014 community care waiver federal financial participation funds received in excess of the amount identified in the appropriations act, as modified by the Governor's recommended budget for fiscal year 2015, and each successive fiscal year through the end of fiscal year 2018; 4) reductions in developmental center operational costs achieved through consolidations; 5) proceeds achieved through the sale of developmental centers; and 6) unspent funds from DDD's fiscal year 2014 budget and successive years, through the end of fiscal year 2018. The moneys in the fund would be used to: build service capacity and expand access to certain services and supports in the community; establish a moratorium on new placements in developmental centers, except for court-ordered placements or in instances of imminent danger while also developing, strengthening, and expanding community-based services, supports, and residential options to meet emergency needs; consolidate, downsize, and reduce reliance on developmental centers; afford the workforce of developmental centers the opportunity for early retirement or alternate workplace opportunities within the State, including, but not limited to, employment at the consolidated developmental centers or other State institutions; redeploy staff positions from developmental centers utilizing a staff without walls approach that retains State employment status to undertake assignments that support community-based services systems, fill gaps in regional and county operations, specialty care such as occupational therapy, physical therapy, and medical, dental and other health related services, and address gaps in professional and direct care positions in the community. In addition, funds would be used to: meet the unmet needs of persons on the community services waiting list in order to: reduce continued growth of the waiting list; avert the need for emergency placement in developmental centers; and support persons with developmental disabilities who live with their families, while also providing stability to their families; provide a seamless transition for young adults with developmental disabilities who are leaving the education system but are in need of continuing services and supports; and maximize available federal funds and direct those funds toward community-based services. The Community Services Planning Council for Persons with Developmental Disabilities established under the bill would consist of 17 members. The council is required to create a preliminary and comprehensive implementation plan and would submit the plan, which would include a minority report, if applicable, to the Governor and Legislature. The bill also establishes a 30-member steering committee to monitor the plan's implementation. Lastly, the bill requires the Commissioner of Human Services to provide quarterly progress reports on the development and implementation of the plan to the Governor and the Legislature.
Human Services
Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee  (on 1/27/2016)
Date Chamber Action Description
1/27/2016 A Introduced, Referred to Assembly Human Services Committee
Date Motion Yea Nay Other
None specified